21 Free Things to Do in Andalusia
12 January 2017 | Mri Grout
Due to being robbed of nearly everything near the beginning of our trip, Rob and I weren’t able to experience nearly as many of these awesome free attractions in Andalusia as we would have liked (so more information will hopefully be provided in the future). However, these things can happen everywhere and our misfortune shouldn’t put you off visiting this gorgeous region of Spain. For if so you would be missing out on somewhere absolutely amazing because there truly are so many wonderful and free things to do in Andalusia.
Free Things to do in Almeria
- Vela Blanca - A beautiful free beach that offers great shore snorkeling.
Free Things to do in Cadiz
- Castillo de San Sebastián - A gorgeous free to enter fort that looks out to sea as it's located on an islet. An interested fact about its location, however, is that according to mythical legend, this islet is also home to the Temple of Kronos, the cruel Titan god who was overthrown by the Greek Gods (who were also his children) and awaits in his prison for the day he can once again rule over the world.
Free Things to do in Corboda
- Mezquita de Cordoba - A stunning cathedral full of artistic arches and other designs. The Patio de los Naranjos is an open courtyard that's free to wander around, but the bell tower, cathedral, and other inner sections normally require an entrance fee of 8 euros per adult. However, one may enter the Mezuita de Corboda for free if they aren't in a group, operate in strict silence, and are only in between 8.30 - 9.30 Mon. - Sat.
Free Things to do in Granada, Andalusia:
- Alhambra - The main sections of the Alhambra aren't free, but there are a lot of beautiful places that are. For instance, the Palace de Carlos V is a gorgeous mixture of Roman and Spanish architecture that though is square on the outside, is circular on the inner.
- Carmen de los Mártires - A gorgeous park that has free roaming peacocks among their rose gardens and beautifully trimmed hedges. There's also a small tower in the middle of an artificle lake that can be accessed by a wooden bridge.
- Casa de Zafra - This house was built in the 14th century for a family of high class. However, after the Conquest of Granada the house was given to Don Hernando de Zafra (for whom it is now named after) and then later used as a convent after his death. For more information on the history of Casa de Zafra, why not pop in for a visit? Some information is in English.
- Rio Darro Palace Ruins - An ancient palace lies forgotten along the Rio Darro right on the edge of Granada at GPS coordinates: 37.176958, -3.540121. Entrance looks easily gained given the convenient and massive hole right beside the metal security door. Obviously we didn’t trespass into this secret and abandoned palace in Granada ourselves (because that would be naughty…), but just by looking at it from the outside it’s clearly overgrown with thorny shrubs (though given the above mentioned convenient and free entryway, it would be easily assumed that there are numerous clear paths that cut through these brambles and go to the many different areas of this abandoned palace. But that’s just an assumption of course.).What one can also tell from the outside is that bits of it probably wouldn’t survive even a small earthquake and so going into and under those parts would be utterly stupid. The last assumption we shall make about this place is that given the high number of street art in Granada it’s probably safely guessed that graffiti artists have painted beautiful pieces inside. Walking around this abandoned palace and just visualising what’s inside and how it ever came to be in this state disrepair is reason enough to visit this obvious urban exploration site in Granada. If anyone knows about the history of this place, please let us all know in the comments or shoot us a message on our Lifelong Vagabonds Facebook Page.
- Street Art in Granada - There are many beautiful pieces of street art in Granada that shouldn't ever be dismissed as just another bit of horrible graffiti. In fact, I would even go so far as calling Granada an 'outdoor gallery' that has its own famous street art artist that goes by the name of El Niño de las Pinturas. However, he's not the only talented artist around as you'll easily discover walking down these beautiful streets of Granada.
- Los Cahorros - Despite being a lesser known free attraction near Granada, especially when compared to the Alhambra, this wild swimming hole in Monachil is a must visit for anyone traveling to the area. It’s a fantastic and free way to beat the heat, but the best part about Las Cahorras is that it’s only a fifteen minute drive from Granada’s city centre. Most people come for the giant waterfall with the small (and freezing) wild swimming hole at the bottom, but we would highly suggest spending an evening actually wading your way through the Rio Monachil. For more information on the Las Cahorras river hike (including directions), check out our most creatively named ’Las Cahorras River Hike.’
Sierra Nevada Mountain Range:
- Mulhacen - This mountain is the third highest peak in western Europe and the second highest in Spain. It's peak sits at 3,480 metres or 11,400 feet - an elevation where one can experience high altitude sickness, so remember to take it slow and drink lots of water. Neither Rob nor I felt any effects of H.A.S. and there were loads of kids on the Sierra Nevada hiking trails as well, so it is reasonably safe. Just remember to also keep an eye on the weather because even in the summer, you can get snow on the peaks. The trails seem to all be in fantastic shape and there are also free huts dottered along them. And at each hut there is a herd of wild ibex to go with the amazing crater-like views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Free Things to do in Huelva
- Rio Tinto - A river that truly runs red due to a high level of iron and sulfide minerals in its underwater rocks. Interestingly, this also means that the river is such an extreme environment that it's been used to theorize about life on other planets and their moons in our solar system (like Mars and Jupiter's moon, Europa). Due to this, I doubt it's safe to swim in, but it does make for a unique and odd experience to view..
Free Things to do in Jaen
Sierra de Cazorla:
- Salto de los Organos - A breathtaking waterfall located in Spain's largest protected natural park, the Sierra de Cazorla. There's also a paradisial swimming pool at the bottom of the falls; however I do not know if this is full all year round or only usable after a good bit of rain.
Free things to do in Malaga
Alhama de Granada:
- A free hotspring can be found on the outskirts of Alhama de Granada at the GPS coordinates: 37.018826,-3.983474. It's just a small pool that comes from the same source as the paid attraction over the bridge.
- Juzcar - A completely blue Smurf town! All of the houses were originally white and this apealled to the Smurfs' marketing campaign so they offered the town a ton of money to paint all of their houses blue with the promise of painting them all back when the campaign was over. However, the blue houses brought so much tourism (and thus financial gain) to this small town that they decided to keep them blue!
- Nerja Playa Burriana - This free shore snorkeling spot in Nerja is located within a stone's throw from the city centre. It's supposed to have an abundance of marine life living in the numerous rocks that dot the water's edge.
- Rio Chilllar - A river canyon hike that will surely be a nice way to cool down in the summer...or just a great, natural way to shower off the salt water from swimming in the ocean!
Parque Natural Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara, y Alhama
- Rio Verde - This free river hike is located only an hour south of Granada, but the change in scenery will make you feel like you've crossed entire countries. There are so many gorgeous wild swimming holes along this return trail (the loop you might have found is now washed away) that you can easily spend all day here. However, please note that thieves frequent the trail heads of Parque Natural Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara, y Alhama, so DO NOT stay after dark if you have valuables in the car. For trail directions for this gorgous hike, then check out our article: Paradisial River Hike in Rio Verde.
- Puente Nuevo - The famous Ronda bridge. However, if you want a stellar view of this city, then I'd recommend checking out Probe Around the Globe's article of the best views of Ronda!
- Cueva del Gato - Another free wild swimming hole to help you cool off from the Spanish heat. It's also an entrance for cave diving; however, due to the dangerous nature of this attraction caving permits are required and it isn't for the inexperienced.
Villanueva de la Concepcion:
- El Torcal - This park is home to some very unusual limestone formations that were carved over millions and millions of years ago when this whole area was lost under the sea. Then as the sea dried up and the wind and the rain took its place, the horizontal shapes of the sea floor was carved into the majestic oddities you see today.
Free Things to do in Seville
- Catedral de Sevilla: This is the biggest cathedral in the world and it supposedly offers free entry every Sunday.
If you liked 21 Free Things to do in Andalusia, Spain, then you might also like these other articles of free things to do in Spain:
Travel Tip #4
Do you know of any other free things to do in Andalusia, Spain? Or just want to write a review on one of the above places you've been? Then we'd love to hear all about them in the comments below!